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“Relocation” refers to a parent’s intent to move with the parties’ child to a location that materially affects the other parent’s ability to exercise their parenting time with their child. A relocation does not need to involve a move to another state, although that is often the case. Without the consent of the non-moving party, a relocating parent must obtain permission from the court to take the child with them. While the court does not have the authority to prohibit a parent from moving or to force a parent to live in a particular place, the court has the authority to allow or prohibit a parent from taking the child with them should the parent seek to move.
In such cases, the court will consider:
- The reasons why the parent wishes to relocate with the child;
- The reasons why the opposing parent is objecting to the proposed relocation;
- The history and quality of each party’s relationship with the child;
- The educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and the proposed new location;
- The presence or absence of extended family at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
- Advantages of the child remaining with the primary caregiver;
- The anticipated impact of the move on the child;
- Whether the court will be able to fashion a reasonable parenting time schedule if the relocation is permitted; and
- Whether the child’s present environment endangers the child’s physical health or significantly impairs the child’s emotional development and the harm likely to be caused by a change of environment is outweighed by the advantage of a change to the child.
We Will Thoroughly Review Your Relocation Case
Because relocation matters do not often lend themselves to compromise resolutions, they can be very high stakes matters with one party winning and the other losing the ability to spend time with their child. At Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, P.C., our attorneys are adept at negotiating and litigating relocation cases.